Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Donald Trump

Aired March 09, 2006 - 21:00   ET


DONALD TRUMP: I'm Donald Trump and I'm always on the lookout for talented people. I'm looking for someone who's a natural leader. I'm looking for someone who is a strategic thinker. I'm looking for "The Apprentice."


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Donald Trump, on his feud with Martha Stewart, on becoming a father again later this month, on his daughter Ivanka's debut on the new "Apprentice." That happened the other night.

That and more and your phone calls for The Donald next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's always great to have Donald Trump with us, one, because we like him a lot and he's an old friend; and two, because he always boosts the ratings. He is never dull.

Donald Trump, a lot of things going on in Donald's life. Tapes are coming out. We'll be talking about that. He's going to appear next week in San Francisco, next month. He's going to draw 61,000 people for the Learning Annex, the real estate wealth expo. It's hard to believe all he does. He's got his show "The Apprentice."

But first, I want to ask you about a new story that broke today and your thoughts since you are a businessman. The United Arab Emirates has decided to transfer now. They're not going to go through with that deal and they're going to transfer it to an American company to run the ports.

TRUMP: I think it's great of them to do. You know, I'm involved with them to a large extent. I'm holding a lot of buildings over there and Dubai is a great place. And, I think it's great what they're doing. They take all the pressure off the president. They take all the pressure off the United States. And, I thought it was an amazing gesture.

KING: Were you shocked at the way it was -- at the way people reacted to it initially?

TRUMP: Yes, I was. I was shocked and I'm not sure that it was a wise move from anybody's standpoint but I think it was great that they decided to sort of take the pressure off because they have taken a lot of pressure off this president and this country.

KING: Now they said it's a transfer, not a sale. Do you know what that means?

TRUMP: Well, it means a lot of different things but probably they're going to transfer it to a company that, perhaps a company they control that's in the United States. I mean, you know, who knows? But they're going to transfer it to some company or sell it to some company that's in the United States and that's really a good thing under the circumstances.

KING: You say you like dealing with them.

TRUMP: I do.

KING: Because?

TRUMP: They've been very honorable. They've been great people. They've been great friends and they knew they had a problem as soon as this happened because I mean it was just a firestorm. It was unbelievable.

But they have been great friends of mine. We're building a tremendous hotel there Trump International Hotel and Tower right in the middle of one of the islands that they built in the ocean. It's amazing what's happening in Dubai.

So, I feel, you know, a lot of people have asked me and I've always said I have a little bit of a conflict because I happen to like them, number one, and I happen to be doing a lot of business with them. We're in a lot of real estate deals over there in Dubai and I just think what they did today was terrific.

KING: Wolf Blitzer told me that it's one of the most amazing places he's ever been to.

TRUMP: There's never been anything that I've seen like it. There probably has never been anything like it period. It's amazing. They have a crane on every corner. They don't even have corners. They just have cranes, OK.

And it's -- they built islands that the astronauts, one is called Palm Island and the other one is called The World. It's an island in the ocean and it's so big that the astronauts said, look, there's a map of the world. Look, there's a palm tree. It's unbelievable.

And, I'm building on those islands and we're having a lot of fun doing it and it's going to be a tremendous success. So, they're terrific people and what they did today was really wonderful in my opinion.

KING: All right a lot of things to cover. What are you building here in L.A.? I know you just flew in for (INAUDIBLE)?

TRUMP: I did. I actually flew in for that and I said, "Come on let's do the show" or you said to me "Let's do the show." The fact is that I'm doing something that I'm very excited about.

It's Trump International. It's a golf course along the ocean in Palos Verdes, two and a half miles along the ocean and it's just opened and it's getting reviews that it's a better golf course than even the great Pebble Beach, which is a course I love.

But I have two and a half miles on the ocean which is more than any other course. Every hole either is on the ocean or faces the ocean and it's great. And, in addition to that, I'm building 75 great mansions over the top of the golf course.

So, it's a very exciting project. People really didn't even know land like that existed in Los Angeles because it really is Los Angeles and we're having a lot of fun doing it.

KING: When you build do you always build with others associated in the building, local people?

TRUMP: No, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Like in Dubai I'm, you know, really with the government and (INAUDIBLE). It's a great company. And, in Chicago I have 100 percent. I'm doing the Sun Times site. We're doing a 92-story building that's 100 percent owned by me.

The Los Angeles job is 100 percent owned by me. I have partners in Miami that are wonderful partners. New York it's mostly owned by me. You know, so I do combinations. I have partnerships that are wonderful and I have 100 percent owned by me.

KING: What is, I guess this will happen at that Learning Annex thing, they'll ask you this, what is the determining factor for you as to -- if someone comes in and they show you something in Philadelphia or they show you something in Detroit what is the determining factor where you will say yes or no?

TRUMP: Well, it's interesting because I'm doing a great building in Philadelphia. We just signed and we're doing a really wonderful building and that will be partnership in Philadelphia.

KING: Apartment house?

TRUMP: Yes. It's location. It's the city. If it's a great city, if it's a city with certain potential. Philadelphia is really on the upswing. I like the city a lot so we decided to do that job. Miami we're doing a lot of jobs in Miami. We're doing quite a few jobs in Miami.

Las Vegas, I'm doing a job with a wonderful partner that is going to be spectacular. It's totally sold out. It's 1,283 units totally sold out because of the location.

KING: Not a casino?

TRUMP: No, it's a condominium and it's been a really amazing success. And, it really depends on the city. It depends on the project. It depends on what I see, what I feel and the mood I'm in, you know. I have to be in the mood. I have to love the job. If I love the job, I love the location, I love everything about it, I do it and it works out successfully.

KING: Is real estate automatic?

TRUMP: What does that mean?

KING: Meaning they say when you're in a boom like land can never go wrong.

TRUMP: Well, nothing is automatic including real estate because in the early 1990s I had a lot of troubles. A lot of people went bankrupt. I never did but a lot of people went bankrupt in 1990 through '95 because real estate values plummeted.

They changed tax laws which was a stupid thing to do but they changed the tax laws and the real estate values absolutely plummeted and a lot of people went out of business and a lot of very smart people. I had some friends that are very, very smart, good developers they went out of business.

So, nothing is -- you can't take anything for granted, Larry, as you know, in this business, in any business. Now I'm a little bit in show business with "The Apprentice" and (INAUDIBLE) has been so great.

KING: Yes, I'm going to get to that.

TRUMP: But real estate is about as good as anything I've been involved in. I've had a great amount of fun. We've been on a long term climb with real estate. Interest rates if they stay about where they are or don't go too much higher, this boom is going to continue.

If interest rates go a lot higher, it'll end and that will be a shame for the country because there ultimately is no business like real estate and there's no business in this country as big as real estate when you think of it, you know with all the developers, all over the country, the furniture, the refrigerators, the air- conditioners. You know when you add it all up the biggest by far is real estate.

KING: How many buildings do you own in New York?

TRUMP: Well, you know, many, many buildings and built many buildings and actually I have under construction right now a number. I just finished a beautiful building opposite the United Nations. That's 90 stories.

I'm just finishing up one on Park Avenue. That's been a great success, the old Delmonica (ph) Hotel. That's now called Trump Park Avenue. I know you're shocked to hear that but it's called Trump Park Avenue.

KING: Where did you get that name from?

TRUMP: It just seemed appropriate and it's been really successful and a really great job and you know, various other jobs. So, I'm having, you know, a lot of fun and New York has been booming. New York has been great and I think it's going to stay that way for a long time to come.

KING: What determines whether it will be condo or rental?

TRUMP: Well, it's very hard to make a rental work because construction costs have risen so much and especially over the last three or four years that most jobs you see going up today, especially in the big cities and the expensive cities they're condo.

You can build a job -- you can build a unit for $1.5 million and sell it for three but if you spend $1.5 million to build a unit, you can't really rent it for enough to show a good return or even a return. So, generally speaking you're seeing mostly condos going up in the big cities.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more, lots to talk about with Donald Trump. Your phone calls will be included. Don't go away.


TRUMP: Wow, this is very exciting but you have to say this is the only way to travel is that right?

GROUP: Absolutely.

TRUMP: So, here's the deal. This isn't just an interview process. It's not just fun. You're going to learn how to make a lot of money and if you learn how to make a real lot of money you're going to have a plane just like this some day, so that's not so bad.

Here's the story. We're going to go out. We're going to teach you a lot of different things. You can all become rich. You can all have your own planes. You can fly all over the world and you're going to do lots of good things and perhaps some bad things too in life but you're going to have a lot of fun doing it, OK?



KING: Tabloids and newspapers have had a field day with the reported feud between our guest, Donald Trump, and the domestic diva Martha Stewart but you know something is news when NBC "Saturday Night Live" makes fun of it. Take a look at "Saturday Night Live" comedian Darrell Hammond as he pretends to be Donald pretending to be Martha on the show's weekend (INAUDIBLE) segment.


DARRELL HAMMOND, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": First off I'd like to thank Donald Trump for hiring an ex-con fresh out of the clink to ruin his new show. Secondly, I've got to say in that real snooty way that I do that it was all my fault that my version of "The Apprentice" screwed the pooch. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Trump, take off the wig. We know it's you.

HAMMOND: I had you two going there for a while. I bet you two are really jazzed that it's me and not Martha snooze bag.


KING: And look at the tabloids here, "The Donald v. Martha," "It's War." And then we have another instance if I could find the page, "Donald and Martha at war." OK, what's going on?

TRUMP: Well, look, first of all I like Martha and I know you like her. You've been -- I've watched her on your show many times and she's terrific. But, you know, NBC did something because of the success and the tremendous ratings of "The Apprentice" they said, you know, let's do a second one. We'll put Martha on and it sounded like a good idea. As you know, I was never in favor of it. I never liked the idea.

KING: I thought you were? You did promo shots with her.

TRUMP: No, I promoted it. I helped her but I was never -- I never liked it, you know, selfishly I never liked it because frankly I thought it was going to work and I didn't, you know...

KING: So the promos...

TRUMP: I'm not sure if I -- I'm not sure if I wanted it to work, OK.

KING: The promos weren't in your heart?

TRUMP: No, probably not in my heart. I thought that it was a mistake putting it on. I thought it caused confusion and lots of other things and it did. The fact is we ended up, as you see we ended up finishing number two for the week in my "Apprentice," but it took a little while to get there because there was such confusion. People didn't know what to...

KING: Because the first week was bad right?

TRUMP: Yes, people didn't know what to think. They didn't know which show to watch. They didn't know what was going on. It didn't work. Martha frankly didn't do well in "The Apprentice" and she sort of took shots at Mark Burnett and myself and tried to blame us. I said, "What did we have to do with it? I mean you have a show. It didn't have the temperament. It didn't have the mood." And she tried. It didn't work.

And, I heard this three or four times and then finally I jotted down a little letter and sadly the letter got picked up by the press and it became like this national/international crazy deal and people are still talking about it. But I like Martha. You know I like Martha. Martha used to like me, probably doesn't anymore but that's OK, you know. I've had worse things. KING: True or false, she says that you said you were passing the mantle to her.

TRUMP: Yes, well that's false. Look, I had the number one show on television, Larry. That's like saying to Jennifer Aniston at the height of "Friends," listen you're going to get off. We're going to replace you.

In all fairness why would NBC or Mark Burnett or anybody say, "OK, you have the number one show," as you know the number one show in television, why would we get off that show and somebody else would come on and take my place?

Now, what did take place is let's do a second version and that's fine. Unfortunately the second version wasn't popular. I was surprised by it. I never liked the idea of it but I did think it was going to be successful. I was surprised by how badly it did. I think you were surprised by how badly it did.

KING: Why didn't it work?

TRUMP: It didn't have the mood. It didn't have the temperament. I think Martha was trying to be overly nice and you can't be particularly nice on the show. I was never nice. I was firm and solid and all those things.

KING: You can't be mean though can you? I mean isn't that a thin line?

TRUMP: Well you have moments of meanness. You have moments of love. You have moments of like everything but there was no -- there was no energy on the show. It just didn't have the energy and people didn't like it. You know the bottom line is the ratings went down every week down, down, down. It didn't work.

KING: And why would that have affected you?

TRUMP: Well, I own the show with Mark Burnett and Mark Burnett is a great guy and he's a great friend of mine and I was protecting Mark also because to be honest it wasn't his fault that the show didn't work. The show didn't have the right temperament or mood and the mood is caused by the star.

KING: But how would that show affect your "Apprentice"?

TRUMP: Because people were confused. I mean, you know, you're doing all this advertising, apprentice here, apprentice there, people were confused and it took a while for us, that was called apprentice number four which was against her, it took a while for us to get to a point where our finale ended up being the number two show of the week. I mean it took a while.

KING: Now I have the ratings here of March 9th and it has you second in 18-49s and third in 25-54s.

TRUMP: Which means young people like me can you believe this? KING: So, why were there reports that you were dismal in the return in the first week?

TRUMP: Well, the first week was very confusing and also they moved to Monday night. They went to a Monday night. NBC always wanted to have a comedy schedule on Thursday. This was two years ago when we first started with "The Apprentice."

I screwed that up a little bit because they put "The Apprentice" on and it became the number one show on television, so in all fairness to NBC that goes -- that was the end of their comedy night on Thursday because they always had comedy on Thursday.

So, the show went to number one and they said "Guess what, we're keeping it there," so for two years they kept it there. Now they said finally, "Let's move it" and there has been confusion because a lot of people didn't know we were moving to Monday night despite the advertising and despite the Olympics and everything else. They didn't know. We moved to Monday night and it's really starting to do well.

KING: Have you since spoken to Martha?

TRUMP: I haven't spoken to her. I feel a little guilty about that because I like Martha. Look, you like her and I like her. I haven't spoken to her but I didn't like being blamed for her failure.

KING: So you're not going to call her?

TRUMP: I'm not going to call her, you know. It's like just one of those things. I'm not going to call her but I like her. I love her. She's a wonderful woman. I wish her well.

KING: We'll be right back with Donald Trump. We'll go to your calls at the bottom of the hour. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you describe to me how it feels to be a brand?

TRUMP: I like not to think about things like that because it puts too much pressure on you. What I do to get rid of pressure is say it doesn't matter. It makes life a lot easier do you understand what I mean by that? We think it's so important what we're doing and, you know, especially for us it's important.

But if you really think about it you'll have an earthquake in India where 100,000 people die. You'll have some other huge problem going on in Africa where so many people are just being killed viciously and when you really think about it what we're doing isn't really so important.


TRUMP: Good morning.

GROUP: Good morning, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Before I tell you your task I want to introduce Bill Rancic, as you know a champion, a winner. He's been where you are. And, another great apprentice, a true apprentice is my daughter Ivanka. Some of you may recognize her. She went to the Wharton School of Finance. She was a terrific student. She now works for me. She's just done a great job.

So, Bill and Ivanka will be my eyes and ears, OK? All right.


KING: Why did you decide to use your daughter?

TRUMP: Well she's very smart. She was a top model. And then at about 18 she said, no, and she went to the Wharton School of Finance. She was a great student.

And she went to work for a friend of mine for a year and a half because she wanted to get some real estate experience other than from me knowing that, you know, she'd soon be with me. And now she just joined me about a year ago. She's been outstanding in every single way and she is "The Apprentice." I mean Don is with me who's doing a great job.

KING: Your son?

TRUMP: Yes, he's been with me for seven years. He's doing an amazing job and Ivanka has just started doing a great job. So, they're both actually going to be on the show.

KING: What's her role at the company?

TRUMP: She's a vice president in charge of development and we're doing a lot of new development jobs and she and Don are in charge of that.

KING: And on "The Apprentice" her role is?

TRUMP: She's my, you know, sort of my eyes and ears.

KING: A judge?

TRUMP: I always call her my eyes and ears like with George and Caroline (ph) for three seasons my eyes and ears and still are but Ivanka now takes Caroline's place about 50 percent of the time and people really like it.

KING: Did you make the statement, one I read somewhere, that if you weren't her father you'd date her?

TRUMP: You know it's funny. I made a statement because Ivanka's a great beauty and...

KING: Not kidding. TRUMP: ...I made -- I made a statement. I said, "You know if I weren't" -- and I made it on a certain show and it was -- everybody was laughing. I was laughing. But one newspaper picked it up and you know the problem with television is that newspapers don't see sarcasm and they don't see laughter and they don't see humor.

KING: You can't write sarcasm.

TRUMP: So, I'm kidding and all of a sudden I understand that somebody wrote an article saying that Trump would date his -- I was saying give me a break. The whole place is cracking up. The co-hosts were cracking up. I was laughing and it was obviously said in jest but that's the problem. I mean you can't be too funny on television and you can't be sarcastic at all.

KING: I know you have some books out.

TRUMP: Right.

KING: On marketing and real estate. I saw those. You have tapes. You're everywhere. And what is this thing with the Learning Annex?

TRUMP: Well, the Learning Annex...

KING: Look at this ad in the "L.A. Times".

TRUMP: The Learning -- I didn't put that in. The Learning Annex is a great institution and they have seminars and as an example this coming Sunday we have a seminar in San Francisco, 61,500 people. We're having one in Los Angeles in about three weeks. We have over 50,000 people coming.

And for some reason I draw large crowds and the Learning Annex people liked me very, very much and we talk about making money. We talk about life. We talk about sort of everything but a lot of people show up to the Learning Annex seminars that I give with the Learning Annex. And then we have other speakers also but I'm the featured speaker and it really is very exciting. We just left Dallas. We had 11,000 people. It was unbelievable.

KING: And you do it like a lecture?

TRUMP: I do it like a lecture and frankly they pay me a lot of money but I do it because I love doing it. I really enjoy doing it. It's usually on a Sunday night, so I'll leave either New York City of Palm Beach. I'll fly out to wherever the destination is and we'll have crowds that are unbelievable.

KING: True I read that in New York you got $1 million?

TRUMP: The speech, yes.

KING: For the Learning Annex.

TRUMP: Yes, that's true. It's actually more than that. KING: Do you ever feel like wow I mean?

TRUMP: Well, you know what I don't do it for that and I give a lot of money away to charity and I do a lot of other things but I don't do it for that. I love teaching. I love having these huge crowds. And it's also good for my ego. You know you got to San Francisco and you have 61,000 people and they use the Moscone Convention Center because that's the only room that can hold the kind of people that we're talking about. And, on top of that they have satellites all over the place.

So, I love it. I love teaching. I love teaching people how to make it in life and you know, hey, and that's not said in a braggadocios way. I've been through a lot. I've seen a lot. I understand life. I understand how to make money. And, if I can impart some of what I've learned, whether you call it wisdom or not to a large group of people I like it. And, as far as I'm concerned the larger the crowd the better it works.

KING: How do you deal with the kidding about your ego?

TRUMP: Well, I don't know.

KING: I mean you do have a large ego.

TRUMP: You know I know -- I don't even think of it as an ego.

KING: Confidence.

TRUMP; I know many, many people. I know people with big egos and small egos. The only thing I know for sure is I've never seen a successful person with a small ego. I've never seen it. You have a big ego. I know you very well. I mean people that are successful tend to have ego.

Now they call it ego. Maybe it's confidence. Maybe it's just something. But, you know, I don't think having an ego is necessarily a bad thing, Larry. I don't think you think so either.

KING: No, and Jackie Gleason said it is confidence. It's confidence in yourself.

TRUMP: I don't even think about it. I mean I just do things. I love life. I have a great time with life. Hey, I've been through rough spots and great spots and, you know, the good thing about bad things is that you learn how to handle pressure or you fold. You go into a corner. You put your thumb in the mouth. I mean I've seen it.

I've had some friends that are really, really smart but they couldn't handle pressure and when pressure got to them they went right into a corner. They put their thumb in their mouth and they said "Mommy, Mommy take me home."

KING: And you love recognition right? You like that they know you? TRUMP: You know, honestly, Larry it's become a very good business for me and I mean I have a friend who is very successful. I had this huge story which was a positive story but my friend calls me and says, "Oh, I don' know how you can stand all this press. I don't know how you" -- now this guy's a really successful guy.

He's a very rich guy. He's got great planes, great this, great that, lot of money. Two weeks later he calls me up. He said, "Don, could you help me get into (INAUDIBLE) restaurant? I can't get a reservation." So, I said "You know why you can't get a reservation because you're rich but nobody knows who you are so what good does it do"?

KING: We'll be right back and we'll take your calls for Donald Trump. Don't go away.


TRUMP: The other team clobbered you. They just clobbered you. Now your leadership wasn't good. Your location wasn't good. Probably a mistake was made here. And, all I can say about you Brent you're a total disaster, OK.

So, that's the way it looks to me and I have to start off by saying that in real estate location is very important. And, Stacy (ph) you picked the wrong location. And, to be honest if you can't handle Brent you can't handle my business. Therefore, Stacy, you're fired. And Peppi (ph) I have to say you also are fired.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, handsome guy.


DONALD TRUMP, STAR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "THE APPRENTICE": Nice to see you (INAUDIBLE). Thank you very much. Come on. Get over here. You're going to have great times now because Trump is lucky, and you're going to have good times. You're all set, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Appreciate it.

TRUMP: So I think you're going to go into big things. Have a good time.



TRUMP: I just love seeing those three young men dressed up. Sometimes in business you just need a hand, and that's what I was doing for these three wonderful guys. They had trouble. They had problems. And you know what, they felt like a million dollars, or maybe a billion dollars. They just felt good.


LARRY KING, HOST: Our guest is Donald Trump. Before we take the calls, what is this?

TRUMP: Oh it's "Trump" magazine. It started about a year ago, and it's done very well. And it's done by a group of friends of mine, and they wanted to do a magazine. And they're very good at the business and it's done really well.

KING: How often does it come out?

TRUMP: Once every quarter.

KING: So this is like high-end magazine?

TRUMP: Very high end and I really did it originally for my condos and for different things I have, but the fact is it's become very popular on the newsstands.

KING: Think big. Live large.


KING: Like Oprah, are you on every cover?

TRUMP: No. This is the first time. In fact, we've had probably 12 editions, and this is the first time I'm on the cover.

KING: Let's take calls for Donald Trump. Cincinnati, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Mr. Trump.


CALLER: It's an honor to speak with you.

TRUMP: Thank you.

CALLER: I work for an airline that is under pilot negotiations right now and if the pilots do strike, it will wipe out the company. We will go under. I want to know what you would suggest to how I can protect, I and the people who stand to lose their jobs, we can protect our best interests now in the event that the company does go under. Thank you.

TRUMP: Well, you're a member of -- a lot of different people are doing that right now with airlines, and the airline business is a terrible business. The fuel -- between the fuel and the unions and the problems and the technology, I would say try and make a deal or go get yourself another job. It's probably easier to get yourself another job.

KING: It's that bad a business? TRUMP: It's a terrible business. It's always been a terrible business. People -- the very smart people have said the one business I would never go into is the airline business. Do you know who made more money in the airline business relatively than anybody else? The great Howard Hughes. He sold TWA in the 19 -- early 1970's for $500 million. That's about the last of it. It's a terrible business.

KING: Now, when pilots, say, take a 30 percent cut or something...

TRUMP: They have no choice.

KING: What are they supposed to do with that?

TRUMP: They have no choice. Look at the fuel. Fuel's going through the roof. The airlines are dying. They're all in bankruptcy. It's a tough, tough business.

KING: The corporate jet business is good, though, right?

TRUMP: Corporate jet and more and more people are flying corporate jets, I mean you know because the economy is a very strange place. We have a horrible war going on. We have our country under water in Louisiana; I mean a chunk of our country. It's a mess like nobody's ever seen before. Lots of bad things are happening yet the economy continues to be fairly robust. A lot of people are going out and buying private planes.

KING: Would you build in New Orleans?

TRUMP: Well I'm actually going to build a building in New Orleans. It's very interesting. Before -- two weeks before the hurricane, we announced that we're going to build a building. The economics of the building have actually gotten better, and the government is giving us great subsidies, which they weren't giving us prior to the hurricane, so (INAUDIBLE) actually do better and it's a really appropriate thing for them to do because they want people like myself to go down there and build.

KING: Condos?

TRUMP: So I'm actually doing a job. It will be condos.

KING: But don't you have some fear over the weather conditions...

TRUMP: I don't like it. Well look, the whole thing with the levees is ridiculous anyway because you're building a city under ground -- under water. I mean you have an ocean that's 15 feet higher than the city. So I don't like the concept of levees. The piece of land I have is substantially above the levees.

KING: And you would therefore have faith in the city?

TRUMP: Well look, you're getting tremendous...

KING: Must have... TRUMP: ... incentives now from the government, which frankly we didn't have before. You know New Orleans was a great place, had a great history.

KING: And you made the commitment before this...

TRUMP: I made a commitment before, and there were no subsidies. Now they want us to go forward, and they're giving us subsidies. The economics actually work out better now.

KING: That's a great story. Houston, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I have a question for The Trump. I want to first tell him I think he's just a very awesome and great guy, and I think he's very smart. He knows how to market himself.

TRUMP: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is this. On the first "Apprentice," there was Troy, and I really had an attraction for him...

TRUMP: He was a great guy.


TRUMP: Right.

CALLER: And I'm just wondering. I remember you offering him to go to college. Did he take you up on that offer? Did he go? And if so or if not, are you all still in touch?


TRUMP: Well it was actually on Larry's show. Right.

KING: (INAUDIBLE) this show.

TRUMP: It was on Larry's show. I called him. I said, Troy, if you go to college -- because he had everything else, but he didn't have the education. I said -- but he was a very smart guy. I said if you go to college, I'm going to pay for your education. Now I knew what I was doing. Because you know if he didn't go, I'd probably prefer it, to be honest with you.

Why should I pay for his education, right? But I still knew what I was doing because he was 32 years old and he has a great wife and wonderful children. It's hard to go to college at 32 years old. So he never took me up on the offer. But my offer was to him that if he ever went to college, I would pay for his education. I think it was very hard for him, however, to go to college.

KING: Millbury, Massachusetts, hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry.

KING: Hi. CALLER: Hi Donald.


CALLER: I just want to tell you before I ask my question that I love you. I'm your biggest fan. And that tomorrow is my birthday, and this is the best birthday gift ever.

TRUMP: Wow, that's very nice. Thank you very much.

CALLER: I was wondering what is your favorite cast on "The Apprentice" so far?

TRUMP: That's a great question. I think the one -- the current one, which is number five, is doing really well. I love number four. I always have to love number one. It became the hottest thing on television in years. It was NBC's biggest show. It was the number one rated show.

It was doing just phenomenal everything. That's Omarosa and Sam and Troy and everybody. So you know there's something about the first show. It's like Larry's first show. You did the show, and it was a great success. You never forget that first one. But the one we're doing right now is a tremendous show with a tremendous cast.

KING: Is that in L.A.?

TRUMP: No. The next one is going to be from L.A. In fact, we're casting tomorrow. The next one is going to be from L.A. for the first time. We've done five in New York, and we love New York. And Mayor Bloomberg has been fantastic. In fact, he's been on "The Apprentice". But we're doing one now from Los Angeles. Be interesting.

KING: You never stop, do you?


KING: Do you ever think of -- you're going to be a father again -- how does that feel?

TRUMP: It feels great. Melania is terrific.

KING: Going to be a boy, right?

TRUMP: I won't tell you that.


TRUMP: But Melania is terrific. And it's about a month away, and I really look forward to it, and she's going to be a great mother.

KING: How do you feel about being a father again?

TRUMP: I like it. I'm sort of following in your footsteps.

KING: I led the way.

TRUMP: And if I do it again and again and again, I'd do that too. Look, if you have a certain amount of money, you know you should have children if you can afford it. A lot of people don't have children because they can't afford it. But if you have a certain amount of money, having children is a beautiful thing to do. So we're having a baby. If I have more, that's OK too. I'm following you. I'm telling you, Larry.

KING: We'll be back with more of Donald Trump and more of your phone calls. Don't go away.


TRUMP: Text messaging is a method of sending a brief written message from one phone to another. This is new technology to me. It's old technology to you. But to me, what the hell do I know about text messaging?


TRUMP: Today you'll develop a text messaging marketing campaign to develop buzz for the Gillette Fusion Razor. You'll choose a key word to promote the razor. Whoever gets more people to text message their key word wins. The losers to the boardroom, somebody will be fired. Good luck. Thank you.


TRUMP: Thank you.





TRUMP: Let me ask you, if you can handle Brent so easy, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was heading back into the conference room where we were working. Brent rushed out of the conference room. I was by myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exactly did he say to you?


TRUMP: Wait. Wait. Ivanka, wait. Does Brent really scare you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He came within inches of my face, and he took his finger, and he started screaming at me.

TRUMP: You've seen criminals. You've seen the toughest people on earth. And Brent is going to scare you? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to respond to that.

TRUMP: Do you think you threatened Stacy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not and shame on Stacy as an attorney to even make such an accusation.


KING: We're back. It's never dull, that show. By the way, the casting call is tomorrow, right?

TRUMP: Casting call is tomorrow at Universal.

KING: At Universal. And what is this tie-in between "The Apprentice" and Ace Hardware?

TRUMP: Well Ace Hardware is this wonderful company that is doing a whole -- they basically rented an episode of "The Apprentice" and they're doing a whole big tie-in with all of their thousands of stores all over the United States and "The Apprentice" and it works out fantastically.

KING: How does it work?

TRUMP: It's a long answer. You don't...


TRUMP: It's so boring. Larry, do you want people to turn off the sets?


TRUMP: But it really is a great company...


TRUMP: And they're totally (INAUDIBLE)?

KING: Never tied in with it?

TRUMP: Never to that extent, but we have tied in, you know the Solstice -- the Pontiac Solstice was a great success. We had Procter and Gamble on the show. We had Levis on the show. We had so many different sponsors and every single sponsor has hit a homerun. They love it.

KING: Chicago for Donald Trump. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Yes, Mr. Trump, unlike Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey, two people who also have a lot of money and influence, why do you feel the need to constantly remind us about your net worth and how much power you have? Thank you.

TRUMP: Well, I don't. I don't think I do. I mean people talk about people's net worth, and they speak positively if times are good, and they've been speaking very positively about my stuff. And they speak positively about Oprah and everyone else. But I don't feel I need to do that. You know, other than that, I think it was a very friendly question.

KING: What do you make of Bill Gates?

TRUMP: I think he's tremendous. I think he's a great visionary and what he's done is amazing. I mean he had an idea. He went with the idea. He stuck with the idea. There's a story that he worked for IBM, and he gave IBM the idea. And the chairman of IBM couldn't stand it.

He said we don't want to make software. We make hardware. And Gates went out and supposedly made a deal with IBM for the first thing, and the rest is history. And you say to yourself, if only he said, gee, making software would be a great thing. But Bill Gates is a tremendous visionary and a great guy.

KING: To Kersey, Pennsylvania. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Mr. Trump.


CALLER: I'm a huge fan.

TRUMP: Thank you.

CALLER: Congratulations on the baby.

TRUMP: Thank you.

CALLER: My question to you is are you still pursuing the idea of rebuilding the World Trade Center?

TRUMP: Well, you know, I had a -- it's a great question, actually, because I was very much involved with a group that wanted to rebuild the World Trade Center as it was, one story taller and stronger. And instead they're building this monstrosity. And I've told the governor -- I told Governor Pataki, you'd be the most popular guy in town if you would rebuild the World Trade Center as it was.

I don't want to look at the building that they're building. It's not a good-looking building. It's not appropriate. I would like to see -- you know nobody loved, Larry, the World Trade Center when it existed. When it came down, all of a sudden everybody -- we see pictures of it now.

You see the old movies and everything else. You almost start to cry when you look at the World Trade Center. I said, rebuild the World Trade Center as it was, stronger and one story taller. And then you win. Nobody picked it up.

KING: What are they doing?

TRUMP: They're building a monstrosity. It's too bad.


TRUMP: And they're not even building it. I mean it's taking forever. They haven't done anything.

KING: How tall is it going to be?

TRUMP: It's going to be 1,776 feet. You know they see the great symbolism. But my idea of rebuilding the World Trade Center with, you know, the modern everything would have been fantastic and would have been so popular, and people would have gotten behind it.

KING: He's always -- always on top of things, isn't he? Donald Trump is our guest. Let's check now with Anderson Cooper in New York. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. What's up, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Larry, covering a lot of things tonight. We've all been following this story because frankly the story is simply so wrong and so baffling in so many ways. A young woman with a bright future ahead of her going to school right here in New York, the safest big city in the country in terms of violent crime. She was the exception. Murdered, defiled, dumped along a stretch of parkway.

Well tonight the murder investigation is moving at break neck speed. We'll bring you all the latest developments. Also tonight an exclusive interview with Senators Trent Lott and Hillary Clinton together, politically they're as far apart as they can be. You might be wondering why are they joining forces now? We have two words, Katrina and FEMA, that and a shocker from Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch, a whole more tonight on 360 -- Larry.

KING: We'll be back with more of Donald Trump and we'll look forward to Anderson Cooper at the top of the hour. Don't go away.


TRUMP: Today's test combines aviation and advertising. Now I'm just thinking standing here, when I park this beautiful plane at the end of the runway at LaGuardia Airport, that's all about advertising. People going out see the name Trump. That doesn't hurt me, so what we're going to do is something very, very similar.

For your first test, each team is going to have a Goodyear blimp. And using that blimp, you're going to drive business to Sam's Club. Your task is to use your blimp through advertising to sell as many Sam's Club memberships as possible.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: In our last segment coming up in a couple of minutes we're going to meet Michael Sexton, the president and co-founder of Trump University. What is

TRUMP: Well that's an Internet that we've established. And what you do is, if you want to travel in terms of great airfares and great hotels or trips to Africa or any place in the world and get the best price you go on and you log on to You'll get the best price. You'll get the best airplanes, the best everything. But you will get the best tickets, the best seats, and the lowest price. So it's And it's been a tremendous success.

KING: How many things are you in?

TRUMP: A lot of different things. I only sleep three or four hours a night unfortunately.

KING: What's Trump vodka?

TRUMP: Well that's a drink that -- and by the way, the profits from that go to various studies on alcoholism and everything else. But we launched a vodka called Trump vodka, and we're considering it -- and I think it will be the finest vodka anywhere in the world.

KING: Where is it made?

TRUMP: It's made actually in various parts of Europe.

KING: Not just one country?

TRUMP: No, various parts of Europe.

KING: What will appeal to you? In other words, do people come to you with these...

TRUMP: People come to me with ideas. Like in the case of the vodka, they came to me with this idea for this really high quality -- as an example, a great friend of mine was a founder of Grey Goose. And what we're trying to do is top it. I want to top them just because it's fun to top my friends. But with "GoTrump", a very group -- a great group of very talented came to me with the concept of an Internet travel agency essentially where you can get really low prices and really great everything else, and it just worked out very well.

KING: We'll be back. And when we come back, Michael Sexton will join us. He's the president and co-founder of Trump University. What isn't the man in? Don't go away.


KING: See these tapes, "How to Build a Fortune", Real Estate Goldmine", "The Entrepreneur's Success Code. They're all audio business courses from Trump University. Joining us in New York is Michael Sexton, the president and co-founder of Trump University. Before we talk to you, Michael, what is this with the clothing line? TRUMP: Well, I have suits, shirts, and ties at Macy's, and they're selling great. It's the Donald J. Trump collection, but you know what, more importantly, there's a man that runs Macy's named Terry Lundgren, who's one of the great executives of the United States.

KING: I know Terry.

TRUMP: He's a great, great guy.

KING: Do you design the clothes?

TRUMP: We -- I help design them. I have great designers, but I design -- I pick the things that I like, and they're just selling great.

KING: Michael Sexton, what is Trump University?

MICHAEL SEXTON, PRESIDENT, CO-FOUNDER TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Well, Larry, more than any other time in history, individuals have the opportunities to create real sustainable wealth for themselves. Just about anybody can learn to become a millionaire. But the challenge for most people is how do they get the skills and the know-how and the knowledge to be successful? And that's where Trump University comes in. We teach people how to become rich. Whether it's investing successfully in real estate or starting or launching or growing a company. We teach people how to succeed.

KING: How did you get involved?

SEXTON: Well I'd been looking at the Internet education space, and there's one brand out there that makes the most sense to put on any sort of Internet education business that deals with business, wealth creation and entrepreneurship, and that's the Trump brand. So like you were talking about earlier, I met Mr. Trump and pitched the idea, and it was something that I think it really captured his imagination.

KING: He came to you?

TRUMP: He did, and he's done an amazing job. Michael has done -- I've known Michael over the years. He's a very smart guy. He loves the whole Internet deal and he loves education. And he came to me with a group that's you know also friends of mine, and he has done an amazing job with Trump University.

KING: And where are these packages sold?

TRUMP: At Barnes and Noble, who has been a great friend of ours. The Barnes and Noble stores have been just absolutely so supportive of Trump, whether it's my books or what we're selling right here. I mean Barnes and Noble is an amazing store.

KING: You produce them, Michael?

SEXTON: Absolutely. We hire the best professors and the best instructors in the country, and we put together the best courses. And like Mr. Trump said, they're available both at as well as Barnes and Noble.

KING: And you deal with things like real estate and building a fortune and entrepreneur success code?

SEXTON: Absolutely. What we really focus on is wealth creation, whether you're creating wealth through real estate investment or you're creating it through entrepreneurship or even advancing your career, we hit on the top topics.

KING: You think that you can teach people to be wealthy, Michael, or how to be wealthy?

SEXTON: Absolutely. We've been doing it for the last 10 months, and it's been a fantastic success. We're actually the fastest growing online education business on the Web right now. We've had over 20,000 students take our courses, and it's just been an overwhelming success.

KING: We have a call here that might relate. West Bloomfield, Michigan, hello.



CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Donald.


CALLER: I think you're both terrific fellows.

TRUMP: Thank you.

KING: What's the question?

CALLER: I have a couple of questions. Number one, where is the best real estate to buy right now? And number two, what do you think about God?

TRUMP: I love God. I believe in God, much more important question. And number two, real estate is good all over depending on if you know the location. I mean you have to know your own location.

KING: Michael, is real estate your bag?

SEXTON: Education is my bag. Helping people really achieve their goals.

KING: So in other words, you take the concept, and you teach how to -- you learn how to teach it?

SEXTON: Absolutely. We know you can teach people just about anything. As long as you make it entertaining and interactive and something that they can really understand. We actually just lunched the Trump Institute, which is a live seminar business, which it goes market to market. It's going to be in Denver this coming weekend and it's going to be in Houston the following weekend. It's just another way we can deliver education.

KING: How do you keep up with it all -- I mean Donald, how do you...

TRUMP: Well I have great people. Michael is a fantastic guy. He knows more about education than just about anybody I've met. And I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I've seen great educators. I've had a great education. I'm a great believer in education. That's why I love doing this, and I love working with people like Michael.

KING: How many people work for you?

TRUMP: Twenty-two thousand or so, different businesses, over 22,000.

KING: Do you work in the Trump corporate set-up, Michael?

SEXTON: We're actually down at the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street.

KING: That's one of his many.

SEXTON: Absolutely.

KING: Thank you, Michael. Michael Sexton, president and co- founder of Trump University. And what can we say, Michael? And what can we say, Donald?

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you, Larry. It's a lot of fun.

KING: Always great seeing you. Great seeing you again...


KING: Boost in the ratings.

TRUMP: Good luck with your ratings.


KING: Before we go, our best wishes to former Texas Governor Ann Richards, who announced yesterday that she's being treated for cancer of the esophagus. She's already battled alcoholism and osteoporosis. She's one of the sassiest, smartest guests we've ever had. And Governor, you keep fighting this thing, and we look forward to having you back here real soon, an extraordinary lady, Ann Richards.

Tomorrow night, a visit with Wynonna Judd, who will discuss an extraordinary thing she's gone through and a major weight reduction plan that she has never discussed before. Wynonna Judd, one of the great country singers of all time will join us tomorrow evening. And Sunday night, we'll have a two-hour special looking at the life and times of Christopher and Dana Reeve. Right now it's time to turn things over to New York City. Anderson Cooper is standing by. He will host "AC 360". Anderson, what's next?